New House Update: Light of My Life

I realize it’s probably a bit odd to start a home renovation project with a singular focus on one design category, but zeroing in on one item certainly does help you set your design direction. And for me that direction looks like it’s going to be determined by lighting. Lighting really is like jewelry for the home and I never could resist a great accessory! If I had to whittle down my lighting love affair to a must-have it would be…anything by Serge Mouille!!

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From the mid-century Parisian designer’s floor lamps, to his brilliant chandeliers and wall mounted sconces – I’m obsessed. They’re artfully minimal, yet make a total style statement no matter what space you put them in.

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There’s so much variety to choose from with Mouille. Wall sconces can come with up to five arms and some of the ceiling lights feature seven. What’s so wonderful about these fixtures is how beautifully they combine art with functionality. You can swivel the arms and turn the heads to create ambient or direct light as needed. SO genius!

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It’s nearly impossible to pick a Mouille favorite, but I’ve been particularly loving the wall sconces of late. They’re dramatic yet refined and would so elevate a living room, bedroom or really any place you might decide to place one. I’m currently day dreaming of a the perfect reading nook…

And while yes, these lovelies are going to cost you a pretty penny {originals get up into the five digits real quick} I argue their timeless elegance is worth the splurge. Thankfully, reproductions are made today at a slightly friendlier price, but this is a piece of design genius that is definitely worth saving for! I know just right where I’m going to put my future dream light in our new house too…but just where that is, you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out!

images via here, the new york times & my pinterest

Marble: So Cool It’s White Hot!

Most home owners can probably attest to falling victim to this dark hole: dreaming of all the things you can’t afford in your new house- like, universally-coveted marble countertops! Oh, what to give to be able to just trot down to the marble yard, point to the vein-iest Carrara slab they have and say, “that one!”…*wakes up from dream.* While highly impractical dream kitchen will have to wait, luckily there are some marvelous marble accessories to keep one satiated…at least, until you scroll through Pinterest and find yourself staring at inspiration that looks like THIS. Oy.

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While marble far as the eye can see might be out of the budget, this marble-esque Clare V. Oversize Metallic Clutch certainly isn’t! Let’s talk about how amazing this super fab marble-topped side table is and let’s talk about the fact that it is ON SALE. Also, if you can’t buy the real thing, we say, faux it with these gorgeously crafted ceramic serving boards. And who else is ob-sessed with this cute gold-plated bar set, atop it’s own adorable marble slab?! Yes, please.

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Even if you can’t cover your house in wall-to-wall Carrara, at least you can marvel at a little mable in your life!

Get Your Shop On:

> Waldorf Side Table {on sale for $299!!}
> Pierre Hardy Marbled Slip-Ons
> Grey Ebru Marble Ceramic Serving Board 
> Gold and Marble Barware Set 
> Menu Marble and Copper Candle Holder 
> Eduardo Garza Marble Ring Holder 
> Marble Cotton Fabric Bench
> Marble iPhone Case
> Clare V. Oversize Metallic Clutch 
> Marble Light Pendant

 

image 1 via In/Out as seen in Belle Magazine // 2 via here // 3 via Menu // 4 via Arkpad

We’re Obsessed with The Citizenry and You Should Be Too

Have you ever traveled abroad and discovered a beautiful, locally made furniture, accessories or art, but had no way to get it back home? The founders of The Citizenry,  Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley, decided to combine their love of far away places and beautiful things, all while supporting small artisans at the same time. Their vision was to focus on a new part of the world each season by bringing handcrafted items that represent cultural history and keep ancient techniques alive to us! The Citiznery’s pieces have combined beautiful craftsmanship and elegant design. But most importantly, they also support The Citizenry’s goal to make a greater impact on the communities they work with. I love stumbling upon beautiful pieces that have an equally lovely story behind them!

We were lucky enough to chat with Carly and Rachel as they took us on a narrative journey to Argentina where their super chic leather butterfly chair is designed and handcrafted. To say we are obsessed is an understatement. Here’s their story…

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How The Citizenry Was Born

Rachel: The idea really came from our own frustrations trying to find beautifully crafted items for our own homes. We were looking for high quality, handcrafted pieces, from a company serious about social impact and sustainability, at a price that didn’t break the bank.

Carly: We started thinking about the things in our homes that we treasured, and all those items had a story behind them – either the story of the maker or the place where it was from. We wanted to build a brand that celebrates those people and the stories behind the products. We know everyone can’t hop on a plane to Peru or Argentina to go shopping, so we decided to create the next best thing online: the experience of traveling abroad, shopping back alley markets, and accessing the highest quality materials and makers from around the world, at home.

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What Influences Design

Carly: Each season we create a new collection inspired by a different corner of the world. We love taking a technique that’s been around for centuries and juxtaposing it with our more modern, minimal style.

Rachel: Working with beautiful, natural materials is also really influential. We pick geographies based on the quality of a particular natural resource. For instance, in Argentina, we work exclusively with the most premium leathers sourced from the rich grasslands of the “pampas” and use vegetable-based tannins to soften and enrich its natural beauty.

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The Story Behind the Butterfly Chair

Carly: We went to Argentina to create a statement piece in leather. After spending time in Buenos Aires, we knew we wanted to create our own interpretation of the iconic butterfly chair. Since the design was originally created by two Argentina architects, it seemed only fitting. So we set out to find the best leather workers & chair makers in Buenos Aires. When we met Santiago, the Lead Designer behind the Palermo Leather Workshop, we knew we’d found the perfect partner.

It really is a collaborative design process with our artisan partners. We both bring ideas, pattern and colors to the table to work together to make something we’re all really proud of. It took a year to perfect the copper finish of our butterfly chair – impossible without Santiago’s expertise and commitment – but it’s become one of our absolute favorite pieces in the collection.

Rachel: It’s a small workshop on a quiet, residential street. You enter through this unassuming door to find a workshop with leather working talent like you’ve never seen. The men who craft these chairs are smart, so entertaining, and of course, were models in a previous life. It is Argentina after all! And like all of our partners, they really so become our friends. Any time we go to Argentina we make sure to set aside time for these epic steak dinners, accompanied by more than a few bottles of malbec, at Don Julio’s or La Brigada… just to catch up!

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A Favorite Travel Memory

Carly: One of my favorite travel experiences was finding and visiting the Lurin Artisan Cooperative, our weaving partners that create some of my favorite rugs (the Estrellas & Cielo Azul) in the collection. They’re a tiny, incredibly talented group that does everything from start to finish – from picking berries to make the dyes, to hand-spinning the wool and hand-looming these, huge beautiful pieces.

Each rug takes about six weeks to complete. Watching this group execute every detail, you really start to understand why. After spending a day with them, talking about how important it was for them to keep their culture alive through this craft, we knew we had to shine a light on their story and talent.

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We could listen to countless hours of storytelling from these two. The people behind these beautifully crafted pieces The Citizenry have collected just makes them that much more special. If you have yet to check out their gorgeous store, head to The Citizenry now. Read more about the quality and details behind each throw, rug and chair, watch videos from their artisan partners and while you’re there, enjoy an exclusive Apartment 34 discount on everything in the shop. Click HERE for exclusive offer!

P.S. We’ve been working with The Citizenry first hand on a very exciting collaboration. Announcement coming very soon!

images c/o The Citizenry

This post is in partnership with The Citizenry. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting posts that keep Apartment 34’s doors open.